Fifteen out of 85 countries in Asia, South America, and Africa don’t have any data protection laws, while governments in Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America are prepared to counter cyber threats the most, according to an in-depth analysis conducted by privacy protection company Surfshark.
As people realise the importance of strong electronic security, “it can also affect their digital experience”, the study says. It also reveals the prevailing inequalities among countries and identified those who did not have any data protection laws for their citizens.
Electronic security scores were defined “by the index of the national levels of cybersecurity and the status of citizens’ data protection laws.”
• South-eastern Asian countries and Australia fall short on personal data protection.
• The top 10 countries with the highest e-security levels are in Europe.
Vytautas Kaziukonis, Surfshark CEO, explains: “Cybersecurity risks need to be considered on a strategic level. Therefore, a country’s commitment to and the effectiveness of its national cybersecurity and data protection are critical to its citizens’ well-being and economic development.”
EU leads in implementing effective cybersecurity policies
A report shows that EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has put the entire region at the forefront of global e-security: EU states lead in implementing effective cybersecurity policies and ensuring personal data protection globally.
According to a study, the top ten most secure countries are all in Europe: United Kingdom, France, Lithuania, Estonia, Spain, Norway, The Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, and Germany.
Whereas countries based in Southern Asia, Western Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America are least prepared to secure their citizens’ lives. The bottom ten countries are: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Nepal, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Guatemala, Lebanon, and Honduras.
15 countries do not have data protection laws
The research found that 15 countries (10 Asian, 3 South American, and 2 African) out of 85 examined do not have any data protection laws for their citizens: Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Nigeria, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Panama, Guatemala, Lebanon, and Honduras.
The study warns: “No data protection laws mean that the processing, privacy, and use of Personal Data are unregulated, leaving third-party companies or individuals to do with collected data as they please.”
“This seriously impacts a country’s overall e-security because it leaves its citizens’ well-being open to potential compromise”, the study adds.
Stronger e-security indicates better DQL
Notably, the e-security index (cybersecurity and data protection scores) correlated the most (0.89) with the overall digital quality of life (DQL) out of all the examined factors like internet quality and affordability, e-government, and e-infrastructure.
At the same time, e-security shows the smallest correlation (0.58) with a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This suggests that other factors besides GDP per capita, like governing efficiency, legislation, technical and organizational measures, are more important for the overall e-security.